The 15 Best Kanban Tools for Project Management

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Aug 26, 2022
Updated on
Sep 2, 2022
Table of Content

There are many Kanban tools, and it can be hard to figure out which is the best for you. This blog post will list 15 of the best Kanban tools, complete with a brief description of each tool. If you need a comprehensive list of Kanban tools, look no further—you've found it!

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a popular methodology for managing work in a Lean and Agile way. The word "Kanban" comes from the Japanese words for "visual" and "signal." The basic principle of Kanban is to make the workflow visible so it can be easily monitored and improved. 

This is typically done by mapping out the workflow steps on a board or digital Kanban tool. Each task is then represented by a card, which is moved through the various stages of the workflow as it is completed. By making the workflow visible, Kanban helps optimize the workflow flow and prevent bottlenecks. 

Kanban is a widely used Lean workflow management technique for outlining, overseeing, and enhancing information work delivery offerings. It lets you visualize your job, increase productivity, and improve continuously.

Kanban provides a framework for continuous improvement, as team members can identify areas for improvement and implement changes to the process. As a result, Kanban is an effective way to manage work in tandem with Lean and Agile methodologies.

Benefits of using a Kanban Tool

If you are looking for a way to improve your productivity, you may want to consider using a Kanban tool. There are several benefits of using Kanban tools:

Increased Visibility

Visualizing every activity is the fundamental principle of Kanban. In this approach, the Kanban board becomes a focal point for information sharing, keeping everyone informed on the status of the project. Every project has a backlog of activities that need to be completed, and each task must go through a set of steps before it is delivered. 

Each team member can receive a brief update on each project or task status using the Kanban board. Its straightforward visual representation makes it simple to identify bottlenecks as they form.

Improved Efficiency

Kanban tools provide project managers with various tools to track task distribution carefully and conduct informed analyses. By visualizing your process, you can rapidly identify areas of inefficiency. 

Bottlenecks are simple to spot with a clear view of the work items performed over a specific period and the stages where jobs spend the most time. Teams are given the tools to deal with these issues and obstacles to improve their workflow and, ultimately, their delivery rate.

Increased Productivity

Cycle time and throughput are the most important productivity measures in Kanban. Cycle time measures how long a job takes to complete, and evaluate how long each step of your process should take. The quantity of tasks completed within a predetermined time frame is called throughput. 

You may track your cycle time and throughput over time to see how your productivity varies. The more tasks that can be finished, the quicker they can go through your process!

Improved Predictability

You can use flow metrics to fully understand your process once you've created a Kanban board and begun adding work items to it. Your ability to forecast how much work you can complete in the future will be improved by looking at the number of tasks included and concluded in your process (cycle time). 

Forecasts and judgments based on historical data will be more accurate if you understand your delivery rate consistency (throughput).

Improved Company Culture

Collaboration among team members, managers, stakeholders, and customers leads to higher morale and a more inclusive organizational culture. Everyone's viewpoint is valuable and significant.

Kanban tools guide you through the process of reducing waste by focusing primarily on tasks that are required at that time. 

Furthermore, by including visualization tools and work-in-progress constraints into the process, you will ensure that the end output is tailored to your customer's expectations.

Prevent Overburdening the Team

Traditional management strategies rely on preparing ahead of time and delegating work to your team. As a result, teams are burdened with more work than they can handle. 

Kanban recommends implementing a pull system, in which the team only pulls tasks into the workflow when they can do so.

Imposing ongoing work restrictions on each process state is a key Kanban practice. When the WIP limit is met, no new tasks can enter that phase until another task exits. WIP limitations keep teams from taking on too many tasks at once.

Increased Team Focus

As every project manager knows, one of the most important parts of completing a task is ensuring that everyone on the team is focused and aware of their responsibilities. This can be difficult to achieve without the use of Kanban tools. 

Kanban tools help create a visual representation of the task and who is responsible for each part of the task. This allows team members to see what needs to be done and who is responsible for each segment, eliminating confusion and promoting cooperation. 

Flexibility

The necessity for flexibility drives many businesses' pursuit of business agility. The ability to answer decisively and quickly to your customer's requirements and competitors' activities is critical to successful growth, especially for early-stage organizations.

Features are rolled out as soon as they are completed, as there are no phase durations. Product managers can reassess immediate priorities based on market developments using a Kanban roadmap rather than depending on a strict broad project plan. 

The Kanban Method proposes a backlog management technique that helps teams become more self-organizing while increasing transparency and consistency in decision-making.

Responding to demand as rapidly as possible is just as important as responding to market changes. Using Kanban allows you to develop a lasting competitive advantage.

Improved Collaboration

Kanban helps your team by promoting regular collaboration. From arranging the day's priorities in daily Standup Meetings to deciding the business's direction in Strategic Reviews, all team members are continually encouraged to collaborate and provide feedback on enhancing current processes.

The many Kanban meetings ensure that stakeholders from all domains may exchange pertinent information, develop solutions, and collaborate on novel ideas.

Versatility

Project managers can increase their efficiency in responding to market developments by employing a Kanban plan to select targets rather than a tight core project timetable. 

Kanban presents a backlog management tool, allowing teams to be more self-managing while boosting transparency and integrity in decision-making.

The primary idea behind Kanban is to efficiently communicate visual clues and benefits across sectors and business categories. Kanban approach application can assist all teams in your firm, from design to marketing. 

Versatility allows the entire team and programs to effortlessly transition between divisions, which improves your complete operation. Using Kanban gives you the push to establish a sustainable competitive advantage.

Alignment Between Goals and Executions

Kanban approaches enable connecting the company's strategic goals with teams' day-to-day work by promoting transparency, encouraging feedback, and holding regular review sessions

This synchronization of business direction and execution improves an organization's agility. It enables teams to respond to shifting priorities and reorganizations due to market or client requirements.

What are the Best Kanban Tools?

Kanban tools are essential when implementing a Kanban system. There are a variety of Kanban tools available, but not all of them are created equal. Let us compare some of the best Kanban tools available, so you can choose which one best suits your organization.

Jira

Jira is a Kanban tool that helps developers track and manage their work. Its design is flexible and easy to use, and it has a wide range of features, making it ideal for use in various development environments. ‘

One of the most prominent features of Jira is the Jira Kanban Board, which allows developers to visualize their workflow and track progress. Another feature is customizable workflows, which can be tailored to fit the needs of any development team. 

Jira also offers a robust set of reporting tools, which can be used to track project progress and identify areas of improvement. Jira is a powerful Kanban tool that can help developers increase productivity and deliver better software.

Key Features:

  • Promotes transparency
  • Optimizes workflow
  • Email notifications
  • Easily spot bottlenecks
  • Fully customizable
  • Process automation 
  • Roadmaps 
  • Search and filtering

Trello

Trello is a popular choice for Kanban implementation among many. It is a project management tool that is built on the Kanban concept. Trello is user-friendly, allowing users to get started and understand its features in minutes. 

Kanban is a system that uses cards to represent tasks, and Trello provides an easy way to create and manage Kanban boards. Kanban tools help users focus on one task at a time and avoid getting flooded with multiple projects simultaneously. 

Trello can be used for individual or team projects, and it has various features that make it an excellent tool for project management. Trello can be structured and customized by teams to meet their individual needs and work processes. 

For example, users can create custom boards, add cards and lists, assign tasks to team members, and track the progress of projects.

Key Features:

  • Dashboard, Timeline view
  • Workspace, Calendar view
  • Single board guests
  • Google Apps sign-on
  • Ability to create checklists with a progress meter
  • Deadline reminders
  • Easy organization through categories, labels, and tags
  • Data filtering
  • Email notifications
  • Supports ten different languages
  • Real-time sync from different users

Monday.com

Monday is a project management and Kanban board tool that helps teams to stay organized and on track. It provides users with a Kanban board, a productivity technique that visualizes workflow. The board is divided into columns, each representing a stage in the work process. 

Tasks are then assigned to each column, and team members can see at a glance what needs to be done and who is responsible for each task. In addition to the Kanban board, Monday.com also offers a variety of other features, such as task lists, Gantt charts, and file sharing. 

Even the least tech-savvy team members may adopt the software due to its vibrant colors, gamification of work accomplishment, and a simple drag-and-drop interface. Using cards in the Kanban format, PMs can quickly set up Agile Sprints for each stage of the task completion process.

These tools help teams to collaborate more effectively and get their work done more efficiently. Monday.com is a versatile Kanban board tool that can be customized to fit the needs of any group. 

Its various features and applications make it an essential tool for any organization looking to improve its productivity.

Key Features:

  • Task, resource, and document management
  • Gantt charts available
  • Workflow automation options
  • Team collaboration ability
  • Timesheet tracking
  • Supports Agile methodology

Wrike

Wrike's Kanban tool is a great way to stay organized and on top of your project tasks. The tool allows you to create a visual representation of your project, so you can see what needs to be done and who is responsible for each task. 

You can also use the Kanban tool to track the progress of your project and see how you are doing against your goals. 

The best part about Wrike's Kanban tool is that it is flexible and easy to use. You can set up your project tasks in any way that works best for you, and you can change them anytime.

The fundamental features are straightforward to set up and operate. You can manage task progress, add deadlines, create boards, and assign team members to different work items. To keep people updated, anyone on your team can add new information to tasks.

The Kanban boards can communicate with other Wrike functionalities. For instance, your team calendar will automatically update when you add or modify a task deadline, keeping everyone informed.

You can utilize the tool's time-tracking software to see how long someone spends on a specific job. To manage workload and monitor task or project progress, you can also examine data in the tool across various dashboards.

Key Features:

  • Gantt chart
  • Customize workflows
  • Time tracking software
  • Calendar
  • Promotes transparency
  • Built-in proofing and approvals

Teamhood

If you're looking for a Kanban board tool to help you streamline your workflow and collaborate more effectively with your team, you'll want to check out Teamhood. Teamhood is a Kanban tool that allows you to visually organize your tasks and track what needs to be done. 

You can create additional boards for additional projects, and each board can have its own set of columns and swimlanes. You can also include attachments and notes to each task, so everyone on the team has all the necessary information. 

Users of Teamhood have the choice of using the Kanban framework or not. They have access to Kanban features, including job prioritization, reporting, Kanban metrics, a customizable task board and more.

Teamhood also has a handy calendar view to see what's coming up and ensure deadlines are met. Plus, if you are away from the computer for a while, you can easily access your Teamhood account from your mobile device.

Key Features:

  • Swimlanes and sub-swimlanes
  • Commitment points
  • Work in progress limits
  • Statuses
  • Actionable Agile metrics
  • Supports different methodologies such as Kanban, Agile, Waterfall, and Hybrid

Swift Kanban

Swift Kanban combines the most significant elements of visual management, Kanban, and Scrum to give you a potent tool for Lean/Agile software development, visual project management, and enhancing corporate collaboration.

Swift Kanban is a powerful tool to help you manage your work more effectively. It is a flexible system that can be customized to fit your unique needs, and provides an easy way to visualize your work so that you can see what needs to be done and when.  Swift Kanban also includes powerful features that help you track progress and identify bottlenecks, enabling you to make necessary adjustments on time and keep your project on track.

Swift Kanban users can automate Kanban board activities depending on whatever criteria they define using rules. Swift Kanban has everything from straightforward IFTTT rules to automating monotonous jobs to intricate card and board configurations. 

Additionally, Swift Kanban has built-in AI features that allow users to receive recommendations for similar cards when producing new cards based on previous data, saving time and reducing duplication of effort.

Key Features:

  • AI-powered Similarity Recommendations
  • Dependency tracking
  • Advanced analytics
  • Story mapping board
  • Business rules
  • The external Work Requests module
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Milestone tracking

Miro

Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard tool with over 1,000 designs, including mind maps, research boards, Gantt charts, Kanban boards, product wireframes, and flowcharts. 99% of Fortune 100 companies trust it, and teams at TransUnion, Upwork, Cisco, HP, Qlik, and Atkins utilize it. 

Miro’s visual platform is designed for hybrid work and features many tools for lifelong learning, including Miro Academy, online conferences, and a community forum.

The Miro Kanban tool includes all of the essential features of a Kanban board, such as task cards, swimlanes, and kanban columns. In addition, it offers some special features, such as the ability to create dependencies between cards, attach files to cards, and add comments and @mentions.

Key Features:

  • Gantt charts
  • Swimlanes
  • Customizable tools
  • Process automation

Eylean Board

Eylean Board is a project management tool that helps organizations to visualize and track their projects. Eylean Board offers a variety of features, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and drag-and-drop functionality. 

Eylean Board integrates with several popular productivity tools, such as Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar. As a result, it can be a precious asset for any organization looking to streamline its project management process. 

In addition, Eylean Board offers a free trial for organizations to try out the tool before making a purchase. As such, it is worth considering for any organization needing project management software.

Key Features:

  • Flexible Kanban structure
  • Kanban boards
  • 18 professional reports
  • Integrates with other platforms

Kanbanize

Kanbanize is a powerful project management tool that can help businesses of all sizes increase efficiency and productivity. 

Unlike traditional project management tools, Kanbanize does not require companies to create detailed plans or schedules. Instead, it uses a simple, visual system to track progress and identify bottlenecks. 

The primary feature is the ability to build a network of interconnected boards. These can grow vertically across management levels or teams, giving your business a clearer picture of how work is developing.

Sub-columns are yet another fantastic feature. You can divide each section of your Kanban board into distinct stages. For instance, you can see the tasks completed by each team or department in your "in progress" column to see what these groups are working on. This makes it easy for businesses to adapt Kanbanize to their unique needs and processes. In addition, Kanbanize provides a range of features and integrations that can further improve project management efficiency. 

Overall, Kanbanize is an excellent tool for businesses looking to streamline their operations and get more out of their team.

Key Features:

  • Project timeline 
  • Time-tracking  
  • Kanban boards
  • Workflow automation 
  • Automated project status reporting 
  • Project forecasting 
  • Powerful Analytics module
  • Dependency management 

Scrumwise

Scrum is a well-known project management methodology that helps teams work together more effectively to complete tasks and achieve goals. The key feature of Scrum is its iterative approach, which allows team members to improve their processes as they work continually. 

Scrumwise is a cloud-based tool that helps teams plan and track their progress using the Scrum methodology. It includes features such as a Kanban board, Sprint planning, and task tracking. 

Scrumwise also offers project templates and training resources to help teams get started with Scrum. In addition, the tool integrates with popular productivity tools such as Slack and Google Calendar. Scrumwise is an essential tool for any team that wants to work more efficiently and achieve success with the Scrum methodology.

Key Features:

  • Scrum boards 
  • Custom filters 
  • Process automation
  • Integrates easily with other tools
  • Search and filtering

Redmin

Redmine is a versatile web-based project management program. It is written in the Ruby on Rails framework, making it cross-platform and cross-database. 

Redmine features a calendar and Gantt chart to help you keep track of your projects, as well as a variety of reports and filters to get the most out of your data. 

Redmine also has a powerful issue tracking system, which can be used for bug tracking, feature requests, support tickets, and more. In addition, Redmine provides a wiki and convenient forums for each project, making it easy for team members to collaborate. 

With its ease of use and many features, Redmine is an excellent choice for managing your next project. Remember that Kanban is not the tool's primary feature or objective when considering Redmine. As a result, the teams will only have access to the tool's fundamental elements.

Key Features:

  • Calendar
  • Gantt chart
  • Filters
  • Offers various project management tools

Youtrack

YouTrack is a powerful issue tracking and project management tool that helps developers and project managers keep track of tasks and promptly resolve every issue. YouTrack allows you to create custom workflow schemes, set up email notifications, and add comments and attachments to problems. 

YouTrack also helps track the team members' progress in real-time and see which issues they are working on. In addition, YouTrack provides comprehensive reporting features that allow you to see how your project is progressing and identify areas that need improvement. YouTrack is an excellent tool for helping teams deliver quality products on time.

Key Features:

  • Email notifications
  • Comprehensive reporting features
  • Custom workflow schemes
  • Users can add comments

LeanKit

LeanKit is a cloud-based application that helps organizations visually map out their processes and see where improvements can be made. It also provides tools for setting up Kanban boards, which are used to track progress and identify bottlenecks. 

In addition, LeanKit offers real-time reporting and analytics so that organizations can track their progress and see where further improvements are needed. Overall, LeanKit is a powerful tool that can help any organization implement lean principles and achieve operational excellence.

Key Features:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Visually communicate blocked work and efficiently identify and manage risks
  • Task management
  • Process and work visualization
  • Project planning tools
  • Online Kanban boards

Kanbanflow

Kanbanflow is a web-based Kanban tool that helps users visualize and optimize their workflow. The Kanbanflow tool allows users to create boards to represent their work process and then populate those boards with cards that represent individual tasks. 

The tool also provides various features to help users track their progress and optimize their workflow, such as the ability to set priorities, add deadlines, and track time. 

In addition, Kanbanflow offers several integrations with other productivity tools, such as Asana and Trello. As a result, it is an effective tool for managing personal and team-based workflows.

Key Features:

  • Customizable workflow
  • Horizontal swim lanes that provide you with a better overview of your tasks
  • Ability to create subtasks
  • Option to create recurring tasks
  • Filter tasks you create by the user, labels, color, or due dates.
  • Documents and file attachments ability
  • Time tracking ability
  • Analytics and reporting features
  • Integrate with your favorite apps

Asana

Asana is a Kanban board and project management tool that lets you visualize your workflow and track project progress. It is commonly used in Agile software development, but can be used for any project. 

Asana's Kanban tool enables you to create a task board for your project and track the progress of tasks through each stage of the workflow. This can help identify bottlenecks in the workflow and ensure that tasks are completed promptly. You can also build task dependencies and show real-time updates to your team.

Asana's Kanban tool is easy to use and can be customized to suit your specific needs. If you need a way to improve your project management, then Asana's Kanban tool is worth considering.

Key Features:

  • Activity feed 
  • Streamline work requests
  • See team members’ tasks and priorities
  • Workload management
  • Automatic updates to email/inbox 
  • Integrate with your favorite apps
  • Create custom calendars and views 

Final Thoughts

There are many Kanban tools on the market, each offering unique features and benefits. However, all Kanban tools share a common goal: to help users visualize their workflows and manage tasks more effectively.

When choosing a Kanban tool, it is crucial to consider your specific needs and preferences. Some of the best Kanban tools allow users to customize their workflows, track progress, and receive real-time updates. 

Others offer collaborative features that make it easy for team members to communicate and stay on the same page. Ultimately, the best Kanban tool is the one that fits your specific workflow requirements.

If you need help getting started, reach out to GoRetro. GoRetro helps by providing more information and tools to make the Kanban methodology easier to understand. 

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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